Japanese food is my favourite cuisine of all time. My family loves Japanese food and we grew up eating sushi, sashimi, sukiyaki, and anything Japanese just tickles our taste buds! When I got married, I also influenced my husband to start loving Japanese food (he used to dislike it because he’s a carnivore and he’d rather have steak than seafood), and so far I think it’s successful. Every time I eat out with family and friends, expect that my suggestion would be the nearest Jap place like Nihon bashitei, Omakase, or Little Tokyo. (Tsukiji and Inagiku are just on another level)
Last night, my parents wanted to eat out so I suggested that we try the newly opened Ichiba Japanese Market at Resorts World Manila. It just opened a few days ago and people were already starting to rave about it. You know, the Filipino mentality of trying something “uso” or “in”. Of course I was excited! JAPANESE FOOD yay! 🙂
We arrived around 6:00PM for dinner and instantly saw the long line of people at the entrance waiting to be seated. As I spoke with the receptionist, she asked if I was willing to wait, and naturally I said yes. She then listed my name on the 21st slot. Really 21st??? We decided to go around first and check back after 30 minutes if the queue moved. Surprisingly, the queue did move fast and we were already halfway through the list. We had to wait for about 1 hour and 45 minutes in total. It would have been shorter if there were just 2-4 of us, but since we were 6, we had to wait for a long table. During the wait, I noticed that the staff were already getting a bit harassed by some customers because of the long wait. I really do not recommend going here on a weekend especially if you have a baby. There’s absolutely no space for a stroller. It was expectedly noisy. There were mosquitoes at the waiting area too. Maybe because of the aquariums where the fish and crustaceans are kept.
After the long wait we finally got a table – an uncomfortable one at that. The tables and chairs were all the “wooden benches” type. It was an effort for me to try to sit on the long benches because I was wearing a short dress. And I don’t know if there were just too many people but I felt like the tables were positioned too close to each other.
Finally around 8:00pm were able to order and eat. The price of the dishes were reasonable so we ordered our usual, Sukiyaki, Chahan for everybody, Dynamite Roll, Ichiba Roll, Wasabi Prawn Salad, Kani Mango Salad, Spicy Tuna Salad, Gyoza, Yakitori, Tofu Steak for the baby… (I’m sorry I was not able to take photos of the food because I was too hungry). We did not order sashimi and other items on the market menu because they said it will take an hour before they can prepare them. No way! We had enough of the waiting game. We also did not find a lot of fresh seafood in the aquarium area anymore. Most of the good ones were sold out.
The verdict : unfortunately, the food was not worth the wait 🙁 All dishes were mediocre! Only the Wasabi Prawn Salad and the Yakitori were above average. The Sukiyaki was too salty and the rolls were so-so. Sorry to say this but I would much rather eat in Nihon/Sugi/Omakase/Little Tokyo to satisfy my Japanese cravings. Oh and the service needs improvement too.
What I loved about this restaurant is the overall concept. The idea of having a Japanese market was so appealing and the look of the restaurant (on a less crowded day) will make you feel like you’re somewhere in Tokyo. It was not an ordinary restaurant but a complete dining experience. Apart from the Japanese-themed interior, there is a Japanese drum that would boom once in a while to signal welcoming of guests, there is a small “store” selling Japanese items, and of course those cute seafood headgears for your selfies, which kids were going crazy about. If only the food was great, or at least above average, this would be such a gem! Too bad it needs a lot of improvement. Maybe they can still work on it while it’s still new.
I’m not sure if I’d like to come back, but if I do, it’s definitely going to be on a weekday at 3:00pm to avoid…EVERYONE. 🙂
Have a great week, everyone! Sayonara!
Japanese Market is located at the 2nd Floor of the Newport Mall in Resorts World Manila (beside Wolfgang’s Steakhouse). The restaurant is open daily — Monday to Friday from 11am to 12mn, Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 12mn. Like Ichiba on Facebook (/ichibaph) and follow on Instagram (@ichibaph).
Japanese Food Lover,